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    E-Newsletter: Coronavirus – What to Expect in Coming Weeks

E-Newsletter: Coronavirus – What to Expect in Coming Weeks

May 8th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors of the 11th District,

Because of election year restrictions on my ability to communicate with you, my constituents, this will be the last e-newsletter I’m allowed to send you until after the November election. During that time, I will also be unable to update my website, or my State Senator Bob Hasegawa Facebook page.
Before those restrictions take effect, I wanted to update you about some important issues currently facing all of us.

Most of you will have heard that Governor Jay Inslee has announced a plan for re-opening Washington state. While I understand there’s a lot of pressure to reopen our economy because so many us are facing such deep economic hardships, I remain concerned that, because we still don’t know enough about the virus, we might possibly be forced to enter into a second shutdown with even more deaths and economic hardship that could have been avoided. The Governor has decided we must take a phased-in, measured approach to re-opening the various parts of our economy. If we are to reopen the economy, I believe this is the wisest way to do it. I’ve included more information about the plans below.

We’ve also heard from a lot of you about concerns for undocumented families, and the lack of support they’re receiving from the federal government. While state lawmakers can’t make changes to what the federal government is doing, there are organizations in Washington state I’ve been in contact with that are working to help. You can find more information on the Resources for Immigrants section of the state coronavirus portal, coronavirus.wa.gov.

As a reminder if you haven’t already, please be sure to fill out the 2020 Census. The census is essential to ensuring that our communities receive adequate funding for the coming decade, and for ensuring appropriate government representation. For each household that’s not counted, our state loses roughly $26,000 until the next Census in 2030!! You can take the census or learn more at 2020census.gov.

Many of you will have received my print newsletter in the mail. This newsletter contains a short update on the 2020 Legislative Session, as well as information about issues I plan to work on in the future. You can read this newsletter online here.

In the coming months, I hope that you all do your best to keep yourselves, your families and your neighbors safe and healthy. I know that our efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve have required a lot of sacrifices from 11th District residents, and that many of you are facing hardships due to lost wages, salaries, businesses, healthcare, personal relationships and more. My thoughts are with you all.

In solidarity,


Safe Start Washington

In an effort to keep Washingtonians safe, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order will remain in place through May 31. He also announced a phased in, data-driven approach to re-opening the state. We are currently in Phase One of this plan.

All reopening activities depend on our success in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and meeting four goals: health care system readiness, testing capacity, ability to perform contact tracing, and ability to protect high-risk populations.

Every phase will still require physical distancing and appropriate health precautions. During all phases, individuals should continue to practice social distancing, wear a face mask in public, and wash hands frequently.

There will be a minimum of three weeks between each phase in order to allow one complete disease incubation period and an additional week to compile data and confirm trends. The governor and public health officials will look at numerous data sources to determine when we can move to the next phase safely. You can check out their data dashboard here and learn more about the plan here.

Videos from the 2020 Session

May 1st, 2020|

Senate Resolution 8701: Nuclear Weapons Testing in the Marshall Islands

Marshallese Community Members Perform in Honor of the resolution

Amendments 1365 and Amendment 1366 on Senate Bill 6690 (Aerospace B&O Taxes)

Senate Joint Memorial 8006: Nuclear Checks and Balances

Senate Bill 6138: Beginning Educator Support Team Program

Senate Bill 6066: Ethnic Studies

Senate Bill 5679: Public Facilities Mitigation

State Bank Update

State Bank Bill Testimony (Senate Bill 5995)

Legislative Update: Jan. 21, 2020

Martin Luther King Day message

Video: A State Bank Update

February 7th, 2020|

Creating a public bank of, by and for the people of Washington state has been my #1 priority issue for some time now. It is a public finance game changer proposal that will:

  1. Generate new revenue for the state without raising taxes.
  2. Drastically increase public financing capacity for public infrastructure while lowering costs.
  3. Keeps our tax dollars here in Washington State working for us instead of working to make more profits for Wall Street.

Legislative update on public banking:

Since the banking caused recession in 2009 I’ve worked to educate my fellow colleagues, and all Washingtonians (and around the US) about the power of the people owning our own bank and how we can use it to build Washington—and our public banking movement is growing!!  Proponents in areas all across the state — from Eastern to Western Washington, urban to rural — are actively working to educate, agitate, organize and mobilize for a public bank.

In 2018, the Legislature approved a budget proviso to contract the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington to develop a business plan for a public bank in Washington. That business plan was due in June 2019 but has yet to be completed. Many of us in the Legislature have been working to correct this.

Meanwhile, we will continue building the movement for a public bank.  My current iteration is Senate Bill 5995. Many statewide organizations have adopted platform planks to support the public bank.  SB 5995 is modeled after the Bank of North Dakota, which is the only other publicly owned bank in the US.  While the rest of the world uses public banking as their financing foundation, we in the US have relied on commercial banking instead.  We need to find a better way.

Background Information:

  • What is public banking and SB 5995?  Learn more Link.
  • Or watch the public hearing on SB 5995 last week Link.
  • Public Banking Institute  Link
  • Learn more Link.

Recent victories nation-wide:

  • California passes public banking bill.  Link
  • New Jersey moving forward with public banking.  Link
  • In it’s 100th year, the Bank of North Dakota posted its 15th consecutive year of record profits for the people of North Dakota with an amazing 18% ROI (see BND’s 2018 Annual Report).  Link
  • San Francisco  Link
  • Los Angeles  Link
  • New York  Link

Sen. Bob Hasegawa’s Legislative Update: Jan. 21, 2020

January 21st, 2020|

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    Applications are open for the Washington World Fellows program!

Applications are open for the Washington World Fellows program!

December 4th, 2019|

Applications are now open for Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib’s Washington World Fellows program — a global leadership and college-readiness fellowship aimed at fostering the next generation of leaders in Washington state!

The program is designed to provide deserving 10th grade students the opportunity to broaden their horizons through meaningful academic and cultural experiences as well as interaction with local, national, and international governments. The goal of the program is to empower fellows to overcome barriers to college, as well as to develop the skills to become thoughtful future leaders.

Fellows will participate in a six-week study abroad in León, Spain, where they will earn 5 college credits and live in an immersive environment with local homestay families. Following the trip, students will participate in two years of rigorous college preparation programming. The entire program is offered at no cost to students or their families.

To be eligible for the program, students must be in Spanish I or above and be nominated by their teachers or counselors. Applications will be open from December 2nd 2019 to January 13th 2020 — so submit your nominations soon!

To learn more about the program, please click here. If you have any further questions, please contact the Lt. Governor’s office at waworldfellows@gmail.com or (360) 786-7700.

We encourage you to inform students from your district about this opportunity, and, if you would like, we have draft language that you can post on your social media platforms to promote the opportunity to your constituents.

2019 Legislative Session Wrap-up and Update

August 2nd, 2019|

The 2019 legislative session was intense and to the surprise of everyone, we finished ON TIME! We were very far from agreement on many key issues, even up to the final day. But deadlines have a tendency to move folks, and we managed to pass a balanced budget that invests in early childhood to post-secondary education, the environment, behavioral health, and job creation. Plus, we settled on a windfall profits tax on the largest Wall Street banks. This bill was derived from my past bills regarding a windfall profits tax on big oil and pharmaceutical companies. I’m proud that we finally moved forward on reforming our regressive tax system by requiring some of the wealthiest institutions to pay their fair share of taxes.
However, there is still so much more to be done. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing stories with you on this year’s legislative successes and issues to work on in 2020 that will make a difference in our lives.

Washington’s Public Bank Update
This year saw a considerable leap in progress. In 2018, Washington state contracted UW’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to develop a business plan for a publicly-owned depository bank. A public bank will keep our tax dollars from going straight into the hands of Wall Street bankers. They’ll present their proposed plan to the state Legislature and the governor this fall. We hope to have the business plan vetted and drafted into a bill for the 2020 legislative session. We are also making inroads for grassroots-led movement building for this issue. If you’d like to know more, check out my website.


I appreciate all your ongoing feedback. I’m launching a new communications strategy that will include regular video updates. Please keep the input coming!
As always, I will continue to fight for working families, comprehensive progressive tax reform, equity of opportunity, and economic and social justice for our communities and our state. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
If you’d like to meet, I’d like that too. Reach out to my legislative assistant Jenny Chang at Jenny.Chang@leg.wa.gov.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

In Solidarity,


Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 3/16

March 19th, 2019|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 2/14

February 19th, 2019|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 1/17/19

January 21st, 2019|

Washington State Bank Model Resolution

August 16th, 2018|

Here is a model resolution for your organization to use as a draft to sign-on to or adopt in support of a state bank owned by and for the people of Washington state.

WHEREAS, the taxpayers of Washington state have demanded greater accountability and wiser use of the taxes they pay to benefit Washingtonians, not Wall Street; and

WHEREAS, a public depository owned by and for the people of Washington State would meet those demands by using taxpayer dollars to invest in infrastructure, student loans, create jobs, increase access to capital for small businesses by supporting local community banks, absorb debt capacity, generate revenue without raising taxes, avert long term debt payments and fees to Wall Street, and keep taxpayers’ dollars in Washington state, working for Washington state; and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 5995 – Creating the Washington Investment Trust (2019) would streamline and create efficiencies of the State’s numerous existing revolving loan programs and leverage their capacity to work for the people of Washington state while lowering overhead and exercising efficiencies of scale, paying it’s own operating costs, and returning profits back to the state; and

WHEREAS, recent Washington state legislative sessions have exposed a serious lack of resource and bonding capacity to deal with the state’s overwhelming capital needs, which in 2018 led to a budget proviso requiring the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to develop a business plan for a publicly owned
cooperative depository bank that allows political subdivisions to participate in; and

WHEREAS, a state bank can grow in capacity to be an unparalleled resource for future generations of Washingtonians; and

WHEREAS, a successful model of public banking is the Bank of North Dakota, which was first established in 1919 and is controlled by the people of North Dakota for the benefit of the people and economy of North Dakota; and

WHEREAS, public banking is a bedrock of social and economic development in most high achieving global economies like Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that (name of your organization) endorses creation of a publicly owned depository State Bank, which shall be governed by an independent public Commission that is accountable and transparent to the people; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the governor, House and Senate leadership, and other civic minded stakeholders for further dissemination to, and education of, the general public.